PhD Candidate: Small Molecule RNA Targeting

Research / Academic

The Physical-Organic Chemistry department at Radboud University is looking for a PhD candidate to work on the development of new chemical methods to study RNA targeting.

RNA is an essential biomolecular polymer that exhibits many cellular functions that are crucial for life, ranging from catalytic to informational. The recently discovered versatile cellular functions of RNA have rendered RNA an interesting target for therapy. In particular, the prospect of targeting RNA with small molecule modulators offers great promise for tackling currently challenging diseases. Traditional drug molecules have mainly been designed to target proteins. In the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Doctoral Training network 'TargetRNA' we will develop selective drugs that target RNA instead.

As a PhD candidate, you will work on the development of new methods to study RNA targeting. This PhD position will be part of a large European consortium focusing on developing drug molecules that target RNA. In this particular position, the focus will be on developing new methods that will enable quantifying interactions between small molecule drugs and RNA targets of interest.

This research combines biochemical techniques, including gel electrophoresis; PCR; cell culture; RNAseq and analytical methods such as fluorescence spectroscopy; MALDI-TOF; and HPLC. Interest in Organic Chemistry is preferred.

You will communicate your findings through publications in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. You will also be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students.


  • You should hold a Master's degree in Chemical Biology, Life Sciences, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Chemistry or a related field.
  • You are motivated, open minded and have a strong interest in working in an interdisciplinary research centre and in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Experience with nucleic acid biochemistry and RNA sequencing would be a plus.
  • Good oral and written English communication skills are essential.
  • To promote mobility within this EU project, you may not have resided within the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the last three years.

Salary Benefits:

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Houtlaan 4